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Differentiated Integration in the EU

Research Network

Established 2020 - Number of members: 189

Steering Committee Chair

  • Sandra Kröger (University of Exeter)

Steering Committee

  • Dirk Leuffen (Universität Konstanz)
  • Cristina Fasone (LUISS University)
  • Christopher Lord (Universitetet i Oslo)
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The Research Network on Differentiated Integration in the EU provides a collaborative network and infrastructure for junior and senior scholars working on different aspects of differentiated integration broadly conceived, including its empirical, legal and historical mapping, its normative theorising and broader reflection on what differentiated integration means for processes of European integration. The group is methodologically plural and welcomes scholars whatever their theoretical or methodological orientations, also beyond the field of political science.

Aims & Objectives

DI is the process whereby some member states of the EU integrate further, while others temporarily or permanently opt out of specific policies. As a result, member states have different rights and obligations in regard to specific EU policies. DI also refers to arrangements whereby non-member states such as Norway, Switzerland or Turkey have privileged access to specific policies of the EU, e.g. the Single Market, in return for complying with EU law in those same policy areas. On the one hand, many normative, theoretical, and empirical questions about DI remain open. On the other, there is a fragmentation in the study of the topic, between more empirically minded and more normatively minded scholars. The RN seeks to overcome these gaps and fragmentation by bringing together scholars from different disciplinary backgrounds and approaches. Key areas of interest to the group include:
•    Empirical manifestations of DI
•    Support of DI or lack thereof, by citizens, political parties, and governments
•    Theoretical and normative reflections on the trade-offs between the pros and cons of DI
•    Reflections on the effects of DI on states, citizens, policies as well as the EU constitutional order

The RN aims to work closely and achieve synergies with the Standing Group of the European Union (SGEU) of which it is a constituent part.


The RN aims to facilitate scientific exchange between its members and beyond and support their networking. It will bring together scholars who share a research interest in DI, with particular attention being paid to integrating early career researchers and achieving a good gender balance in all of its activities. The RN will also encourage and support activities that reach out to non-academic audiences as well as impact-related activities.

The RN will facilitate the above by a range of activities. It will contribute to existing ECPR formats such the general conference, the bi-annual SGEU conference and the joint session workshops. After a period of consolidation, it might periodically organise a workshop or a summer school, either jointly with SGEU or independently, and possibly run a working paper series. To organise these activities and facilitate the exchange of ideas, the RN will entertain the ECPR-based website which will be used to share information about recent publications, planned talks, workshops and conferences, job openings etc.; entertain its own twitter page for similar purposes; entertain an ECPR-based e-mail list to keep members of the RN informed about on-going activities, funding and job openings; and provide policy-relevant research and recommendations to policy-makers.